Chris Musgrave’s Las Vegas Adventure

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Chris Musgrave joins StarkLight Press from the U.K, where his wry wit and skilled pen combine to make excellent fiction. His prompts for Shamrocks, Saints and Standing Stones were 1940s, Las Vegas, and a Magic Doorway. His gripping story, Pest Control, is excerpted here:

 

‘Why don’t you tell me why I’m here, Mr Powers. How can I be of service to you this evening?’

‘Well, Mr St.–‘ I give him a look. ‘Paddy, we’ve got a little…’ He waves a hand in tight circles, searching for the right word. ‘…Pest problem and I’m told you’re the man who knows how to deal with it. Quietly.’

I lean in closer and lower my voice. ‘What kind of pest?’ I ask. ‘Ogre under your covered bridge? They’re a troublesome bunch o’ buggers them, but mostly harmless. Bean sidhe hogging the cabaret stage?’

‘Dragons. We have dragons.’

Twin-Dragons.jpg

You can read all about how Mr. Powers deals with his supernatural infestation in StarkLight’s St. Patrick’s Day anthology, due for release March 10! Until then, you can learn a bit more about this tale’s author:

 

Chris Musgrave has always enjoyed a good story, so much so that he’s spent the last twenty years trying to write one of his own. His passion is for horror but he’s just as content with a good urban fantasy or speculative fiction.

He lives in Yorkshire — a remote area in the north of the United Kingdom known for its tea and strange wildlife — with his wife, his son, and an army of freeloaders which he kindly refers to as ‘characters’.

When he’s not writing fiction, he’s blogging over at www.chrismusgravewriter.com or as a contributor at www.thesarcasticmuse.com

        1. What’s your most prominent memory of St. Patrick’s Day? 

There was this one time when I drank so much that I woke up stark-naked and covered in green-tinted vomit…no wait, that was a Tuesday…Saint Patrick’s Day, you say? Never heard of it.

        1. Name the part of Irish culture you are most happy to lay claim to and why- is it Guinness? Irish music? The Book of Kells? The Fighting Irish? 

Very little beats the Irish when it comes to music. Each song, like good fiction, paints an eddying array of pictures in your mind. The same ballad can bring a tear to your eye, pluck at your heartstrings, fire up your patriotism, and have you clutching your sides in laughter.

I was raised on Irish music: traditional and modern. My parents will remind me of the day my brother and I attempted to sing along to The Pogues in the back of the car, and my wife will no doubt remember my late night rendition of Buachaill ón Éirne (the less said about that, the better). It brings me comfort, my little guilty pleasure, and every day it inspires my writing in one form or another.

        1. What are your thoughts on working with this sort of writing exercise, fueled by prompts? How did seeing the prompts of your fellow authors and chatting online together with them about the work affect your process?

While I tend to thrive on prompts, I did struggle a little with this one and I think the reason was tied to the era. I do write fiction in historical and futuristic settings and I always revel in the challenge of setting my story outside of “current time”. However, for some reason, the time prompt put me on the back foot during the research and drafting processes.

I will admit to some jealousy when I first saw the prompts of a number of my fellow authors. This was quick to pass and, once the initial excitement gave way to the crushing weight of potential ideas, there was little I could do but start writing.

Of course, the first (second, third, sixth) ideas went in the bin (garbage, for my friends across the pond), but new ones arrived just as fast. Unfortunately, this was around the time that the Facebook group became highly active and the occasional back-and-forth chased yet more ideas from the grasses of my brain in much the same way Patrick chased the snakes from Ireland.


Seriously though, it pays to have a group of writers/friends around your level of insanity to bounce ideas off. Every suggestion is gold, even if it doesn’t fit your current story or even the current prompt. Write them all down and save them for a rainy day and then, when that day comes, you can kick back, raise a cold one and say
Sláinte mhaith!”.

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